What To Do if You Get Bitten by a Tick
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“So if you’ve been bitten by a tick, a lot of times people kind of panic.”
- Dr. Thomas Mather, Tick Expert, University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter Resource Center
Finding a tick on yourself, your family member, or your pet can be scary. While it’s vital to remove a tick as soon as possible, it is also important to ensure that you do it properly, and that you take the right steps once it’s removed. This includes storing the tick, and sending it in for testing in case it is carrying a dangerous tick-borne disease like Lyme, or a dangerous allergen like Alpha-gal.
1. Remove the tick
According to tick expert, Dr. Thomas Mather, the best strategy for removing a tick is by using fine-tipped, pointy tweezers like the ones from TickEase. By having something with a very pointy tip, you are able to get as close to the skin as possible and pull the tick out.
How to remove a tick:
- Hold tick with fine-tipped, pointy tweezers
- Get as close to the skin as possible
- Pull straight up in a slow, steady motion
2. Keep the tick in a plastic bag
After removing the tick, don’t throw it away. Instead, place it in a Ziploc bag. Most people won’t know how to identify what kind of tick it is, and if you don’t, you won’t know what kind of diseases it may be carrying.
3. Identify the tick
Next, take a clear photo of the top side of the tick, and send it to TickSpotters, where Dr. Mather and his team will identify it for you within 24 hours with the following information:
- The kind of tick it is
- How long it was attached
- And what kind of germ it likely, or even didn’t likely, transmit to you
4. Send the tick in for testing
After the tick has been identified and TickSpotters has let you know if the tick that bit you has a high chance of carrying a disease, you can choose to send in the tick to a testing facility.
It should be noted that while tick testing can be a helpful resource, it should not be used as a substitute for physician diagnosis of disease.
Tick Testing Services Recommended by TickEncounter:
Related Post and Interview: What is a Tick Testing Service? Do I Need One and How Do I Choose?